We gather here today to share information and knowledge. Intelligence is not merely cold hard data about numerical strength or armament or disposition of military forces. The most important element of intelligence has to be understanding the mindset and intention of the enemy. The west has been wallowing in a state of ignorance and denial for thirty years as Muslim extremist perpetrated evil against innocent victims in the name of Allah.
I was ten years old when my home exploded around me burying me under the rebel drinking my blood to survive as the perpetrators shouted Allah Akbar. My only crime was that I was a Christian living in a Christian town. I learned at 10 years old the meaning of the word "infidel." I had a crash course in survival not in girl scouts, but in a bomb shelter where I lived for seven years in pitch darkness, freezing cold, drinking stale water and eating grass to live. At the age of thirteen I dressed in my burial clothes going to bed at night waiting to be slaughtered and by the age of 20 I had buried most of my friends who were killed by Muslims. We were not Americans living in New York, or Britons in London, we were Arab Christians living in Lebanon.
As a victim of Islamic terror, I was amazed when I saw Americans waking up on September 12th 2001 asking themselves "Why do they hate us?" The psychoanalyst experts were coming up with all sort of excuses as to what did we do to offend the Muslim World? If America and the west were paying attention to the Middle East they would not have had to even ask the question. Simply put, they hate me and you because we are defined in their eyes by one simple word, "infidels."
Under the banner of Islam "la, ilaha illa allah, muhammad rasoulu allah," there is no God but Allah, Muhammad is his prophet, they murdered Jewish children in Israel, massacred Christians in Lebanon, killed Copts in Egypt, Assyrians in Syria, Hindus in India, and expelled almost 900,000 Jews out of Muslim lands. We Middle Eastern infidels paid the price then and for their indifference and shortsightedness infidels worldwide are paying the price now.
Tolerating evil is a crime. Appeasing murderers doesn't buy protection, it earns disrespect and loathing in the enemy's eyes. Apathy is the weapon by which the west is committing suicide. Political correctness is the shackles around our ankles by which Islamists are leading us to our demise.
America and the West are doomed to failure in this war unless they stand up and identify the real enemy. Islam. You hear about Wahabbi and Salafi Islam as the only extreme form of Islam. All the other Muslims are wonderful moderates. I hope the pictures of the irrational eruption of violence from around the world in reaction to the cartoons of Mohammed from burning embassies, to calls to butcher those who mock Islam, or to warnings to be prepared for the real holocaust, has given you a glimpse into the real face of the enemy. The news pictures and video of these events represents a canvas of hate decorated by different nationalities who share one common ideology of hate, bigotry and intolerance derived from one source. Authentic Islam. An Islam that is awakening from centuries of slumber to re-ignite its wrath against the infidel and dominate the world. An Islam which has declared "Intifada" on the West.
America and the west can no longer afford to lay in their lazy state of overweight ignorance. The consequences of this mental disease are starting to attack the body and if they don't take the necessary steps now to control it, death will be knocking soon.
If you want to understand the nature of the enemy we face, visualize a tapestry of snakes. They slither and they hiss, and they would eat each other alive, but they will unite in a hideous mass to achieve their common goal of imposing Islam on the world. This is the ugly face of the enemy we are fighting.
We are fighting a powerful ideology that is capable of altering human basic instincts. An ideology that can turn a mother into a launching pad of death. A perfect example is a recently elected Hamas official in the Palestinian Territories who raves in heavenly joy about sending her three sons to death and offering the ones who are still alive for the cause. It is an ideology that is capable of offering highly educated individuals such as doctors, and lawyers far more joy in attaining death than any respect and stature, life in society is ever capable of giving them.
The United States has been a prime target for radical Islamic hatred and terror. Every Friday, mosques in the Middle East ring with shrill prayers and monotonous chants calling death, destruction and damnation down on America and its people. The radical Islamists' deeds have been as vile as their words. Since the Iran Hostage crisis, more than three thousand Americans have died in a terror campaign almost unprecedented in its calculated cruelty along with thousands of other citizens worldwide. Even the Nazis did not turn their own children into human bombs, and then rejoice at their deaths as well the deaths of their victims. This intentional, indiscriminate and wholesale murder of innocent American citizens is justified and glorified in the name of Islam.
America cannot effectively defend itself in this war unless and until the American people understand the nature of the enemy that we face. Even after 9/11 there are those who say that we must "engage" our terrorist enemies, that we must "address their grievances". Their grievance is our freedom of religion. Their grievance is our freedom of speech. Their grievance is our democratic process where the rule of law comes from the voices of many not that of just one prophet. It is the respect we instill in our children towards all religions. It is the equality we grant each other as human beings sharing a planet and striving to make the world a better place for all humanity. Their grievance is the kindness and respect a man shows a woman, the justice we practice as equals under the law, and the mercy we grant our enemy. Their grievance cannot be answered by an apology for who or what we are.
Our mediocre attitude of not confronting Islamic forces of bigotry and hatred wherever it raised its ugly head in the last 30 years, has empowered and strengthened our enemy to launch a full scale attack on the very freedoms we cherish in their effort to impose their values and way of life on our civilization.
If we don't wake up and challenge our Muslims community to take action against the terrorists within it, if we don't believe in ourselves as Americans and in the standards we should hold every patriotic American to, we are going to pay a price for our shortsighted delusion.
For the sake of our children and our country, we must wake up and take action. In the face of a torrent of hateful invective and terrorist murder, America's learning curve since the Iran hostage crisis is so shallow that it is almost flat. The longer we lay supine, the more difficult it will be to stand erect.
By Brigitte Gabriel
Excerpted from Brigitte Gabriel's speech delivered at the Intelligence Summit in Washington DC, Saturday February 18, 2006.
Brigitte Gabriel is an expert on the Middle East conflict and lectures nationally and internationally on the subject. She's the former news anchor of World News for Middle East television and the founder of American Congress for Truth.com. Brigitte Gabriel is the author of a forthcoming book on the same subject to be published by St. Martin's Press later in 2006.